Not that we're oh-so-special. I'm just saying that there IS no such thing as normal.
Yesterday I was able to visit Kyle at his fire station and brought him some teas I had made, homemade soup and a delicious invention I concocted this winter: free range duck stuffed with venison steak and wrapped in bacon. It. is. amazing.
We chit-chatted about a house for sale that I saw and a job opportunity for my husband and which family members we'd each talked to, about a party in 2 weekends that we're not sure we can make it to, etc.
Today when he called I knew something was up, and in a very normal voice he told me he didn't have time to talk, he just wanted to say he loved me.
And he was helping work a wreck with a fatality.
It was said so normally I almost missed what he said. When I asked for clarification, he said he was working a head-on-collision car accident with numerous injuries and a fatality.
"I'm sorry baby."
"At least its not a kid." was his response.
I have heard stories he's told me of similar cases where he worked EMS, but it was always in the past tense. This is honestly the first time in our marriage that I've been with him while he dealt with this particular venue of his occupation. I've been to funerals of others who gave the ultimate sacrifice for their job, but its very different being the wife of someone working the front lines of everyday life.
A good friend of ours called a few weeks ago and is a new police officer. He called to share funny stories and then a bit later casually mentioned that he'd been a bit stressed in his premarital counseling appointment with his fiance because he'd worked a suicide case and had walked in unexpectedly on the body.
'Yeah it was weird. I was kind of keyed up the rest of the day... swore a little more than usual.'
The emergency service men that I personally have known don't make a big deal out of their jobs. They don't tell the gory stories or walk in with a swagger and demand to be hailed as heroes. Of course I know there are those that do, I'm just saying that i haven't personally met them. And I'm very proud of all of them.
I am so thankful that the media SEEMS to have gotten off the, 'lets bash police officers!' kick it was on last year. (And quite frankly I still am so disgusted with them for doing that I can't really bear to watch the news and have prayed for restraint to not write a very long letter to each news network detailing their stupidity. Its not a threat, I just want to know for my own curiosities sake who they planned on calling if there were shady sounds coming towards them from outside the next night? Because i hope it wasn't their local police!! Ok end rant)
However I wish awareness was raised for the GOOD peace officers out there, the godly firefighters who ARE doing their jobs - and well - and for the EMT's who are trying to work well in a broken system. I wish awareness was increased for how to support the families of Emergency Service workers and help them cope with the challenges. Adrenal fatigue and divorce rates among Emergency Services is alarmingly high for a reason.
What can you do about it? Contact your local Police or Fire Chief and ask if their department or a particular shift could use a meal provided by you or your church group. Have your Sunday school class write thank-you notes. And next time you are going 15 miles over the speed limit, don't curse the blue lights you see in your rear view mirror. Surprise them and thank them for doing their job well. They are keeping you and your loved ones safe by being vigilant.
Ministering to the Ministers IS a ministry. Even if the ministers are such in a non-traditional sense.